Educational Management and Leadership - ashm ashm- ?· Applied mathematics in Engineering, Management…
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Applied mathematics in Engineering, Management and Technology 2 (5) 2014:120-127
Educational management has become more varied and complex in terms of
the theory than ever. Theorists in educational management area currently
attempt to give an identity to educational management as an independent
field and promote status of this field in comparison with other fields in
management area. In the current work, Tony Bush's classification for
educational management theories, conceptual pluralism, leadership abilities,
leadership and roles, transformational leadership and transactional
leadership are addressed. Leithwood's theories in educational leadership,
transformational leadership, leadership traits influence on learning and
leadership culture and theory are also discussed. Finally, Kowalski's views,
Distributed leadership and conflict management in distributed leadership are
Keywords: Educational Leadership, Educational Management, Theory
Educational management is a social process which coordinates and organizes all human resources by
application of technical, scientific, and artistic skills and helps achieving educational goals by fulfillment of
logical personal and collective needs of the teachers, students, and the staffs .according to Alaghemand,
management is developing and preserving such environment in which individuals are able act effectively and
efficiently to achieve specific goals. CambleWilner considers educational management and leadership as a
process aiding improvement of education and calls any action which steps forward the teacher as educational
leadership. Management is a science and utilizes scientific theories, knowledge, and principles. Management is
a technique; i.e. it includes practical abilities which mainly refer for occupational environmental and
professional aspects. Generally speaking, management skill means gaining sophistication required to apply
knowledge, the art and technique of management which is acquired throughrepetition and practice and training.
What is management skill in the school as an educational organization? What are goals of an educational
organization? Educational organization's goals enerally include development of self-leadership, cognitive and
personality development of the student, creating a continuous learning and application of knowledge to serve
society and reform.
Aiding achievement of education goals, establishing coordination among all resources and activities of the
educational organization and helping improvement and modification of the education flow, helping
organization members in better understanding of the goals, guiding and supporting organization's members,
creating opportunity for creativity, understanding the needs and problem solving, aiding discovery and
occurrence of talents of the students are among basic goals of educational management in school.
Education organization's goals are wide with various aspects. It does not bring in quick outcome and
result.Sense of responsibility, duty, work ethics, etc. is highly important in the organization and lead to more
competition. Education is associated to the beliefs and values and it is regarded as a social activity. Its working
ground is a social, educational, and cultural affair. In a social activity it is not possible to recognize the
deficiencies properly and it needs time. For example, if you give a directive to the principal or teachers, they
can act according to their own standards. In this case, the task of principal is heavier because the shortcomings
cannot be properly identified.
2.Theory and Practice in Educational Management in Bush's Perspective
Educational Management and Leadership
1Administration of Sherafate Eftekhar Guidance School, District 1 of Arak's Ministry of Education, Arak, Iran.
Applied mathematics in Engineering, Management and Technology 2014
Educational management is a theoretical and practical area related to the educational organizations. Of course,
considering various logical perspectives in this regard, there is no single comprehensive definition. Instead of
defining educational management, Bush (2003) refers to five major functions of educational management:
- Setting goals (direction, goals, objectives) - Planning for achievement of the position - Organizing resources (staff, time, facilities, equipment) - Inhibiting the process (assessment of success and the selection and planning reform) - Adjusting and improving organizational measures Bush's Classification of Educational Management Theories
Bush (2003) classified management theories and leadership theories into five major models. As observed in
Table 1, management models are classified into five classes; formal, political, collegial, subjective and
ambiguity- cultural models, and classified leadership models into five models, managerial, participative,
transactional, postmodern and contingency - moral.
Table 1. Bush's Classification of educational management and leadership theories
Management Model Leadership Model
ambiguity- cultural contingency moral
These models will be described in the following.
These models include theories which emphasize formal and structural elements of the organizations. Formal
models assume that the organizations are hierarchies in which managers are the rational tools for realization of
predetermined organizational goals. In these models, the managers obtain their authorities through formal
positions. The major features of these models include:
- They tend to treat organizations as systems. - They adhere to the formal structures and hierarchies. - Managerial decision making is done through the logical processes (Bush, 2003; Bush, 2007).
These models cover the theories which emphasize participatory and collaborative power and decision making.
In these models, the organization adopts policies and decisions through discussion which leads to collective
agreement (Bush, 2003; Bush, 2007).
Political models include theories which describe decision making as a bargaining process. The main emphasis
in these models is on distribution of power, influence, bargaining and negotiation between interest groups.
Thus, conflict is inevitable. These models assume that the policy and decision making emerges through Process
of negotiation and bargaining. In addition that conflict and differences are considered as natural, the power is in
hands of the stakeholder parties rather than formal leaders (Bush 2003; Bush, 2007).
Subjective models mostly emphasize individuals rather than the whole organization or its units. This approach
suggests that each individual has selective mentality and perception about the organization. There are different
Applied mathematics in Engineering, Management and Technology 2014
meanings for situations and events for the individuals in the organizations. Organizations are regarded as
complex units in this theory which contain various meaning and perceptions of the individuals. In this theory,
organizations are social constructions which are developed from interaction of the individuals. They reflect
individuals' values and beliefs rather than reflecting realities presented in the formal models (Bush, 2003; Bush,
2.5.Ambiguity Model/Cultural Model
Ambiguity models emphasize uncertainty and unpredictability in the organization. These theories assume that
organizational goals are problematic and these organizations have problem in prioritizing the goals. Decision
making is done in an unpredictable environment and assumption of the ambiguity models is that
unpredictability and turmoil is dominant in the organizations. There is no transparency in the field of
organizational goals and their processes are incomprehensible. Ambiguity models were mostly emerged by
American theorists of the 1970s. (Bush, 2008).
Leadership models which are corresponding to the managerial models are discussed in this section:
This type of leadership theories are most similar to the formal models, in which functions, tasks, and behaviors
are emphasized. In addition, it is assumed that behavior of the organization's members is subject to the logic and
rationality. Authority in this type of leadership originates from formal and hierarchical positions (Bush, 2008;
Participative leadership provides participation and collaboration opportunities for the individuals and receive
input from the organization's members. These models encourage group members to participation. Such
approach causes that group members feel they are involved in the working process leading to increasing their
motivation and creativity.
The main focus in this type of leadership is on the process of transaction between the leader and follower.
Leader and follower may influence each other according to the benefit they receive from mutual transaction. In
other words, leaders give what the followers want and they expect their followers fulfill their demands.
Bush (2007) refers to main features of the postmodernism school in educational management:
1- In postmodernism, beliefs and perceptions of the organization's members are mainly focused rather than organizational or group level interests. Dealing with the individuals instead of the organization itself is the main
difference between this school and other ones.
2- Postmodernism is focused on various meanings of the different phenomena and events for the individuals present in the organization. Thus, it stresses interpretation of the individuals' personal behaviors
rather than the situations and phenomena.
3- Different meanings of the individuals from different situations are influenced by the individuals' values, experiences, and background. Hence, interpretations of a specific situation are influenced by the beliefs of the
individuals in the organization.
4- In this school, the structure is mainly constructed by the human interactions rather than being a fixed and predetermined phenomenon. Organizational charts which may be salient feature of the other schools, is
Applied mathematics in Engineering, Management and Technology 2014
considered a fake thing in this school which lacks capability of predicting individuals' behavior. Thus, instead
of focus on the structure, behaviors and their processes are focused in this school.
5- This school emphasizes personal goals and denies organizational goals. The organizations are constructed by the members' interactions which naturally create an assumption. Thus, individuals are the
ultimate goal, not the organizations and their goals.
3.Educational Leadership in Leithwood's Perspective
The most common conceptualization about educational leadership is related to Hollinger (2003) which suggests
three aspects for this type of leadership: Defining the school's mission, curriculum management, and
strengthening the positive atmosphere of learning at the school level. Hollinger shows ten functions of an
educational manager. Findings indicate a few number of the managers in real world achieve educational
leadership. The problem with educational leadership is that the manager is not an educational expert in most
schools. In addition, there are managers who consider their role as an administrative role and thus they distance
from the class environment deliberately. In most cases, the managers are less specialized than the teachers
under their supervision. Considering the fact that administrative authority of the managers is very limited due to
having intermediate management position, this concept gets more complex. The final authority and power is in
the hand of regional and district top management in most educational systems. The reality in the educational
systems is that managers are put in between expectations of the teachers, parents and top management team and
social members in terms of policy. The main challenge for most managers is dealing with numerous
stakeholders of the educational system so that they have to create a balance among diverse and often conflicting
demands of different social groups. Delegation of authority and decentralization deviates management attention
away from the technical core of schools. Many school managers have been so soaked in the daily managerial
and administrative tasks of the schools which rarely have time for leadership in the field of teaching and
Although the main leadership functions are leading and ability to influence, different application of these
functions leads to success or failure of the leadership in schools. Differences between successful and
unsuccessful managers depend on the leadership preferences or styles, organizational environment conditions,
internal processes of the leaders (cognitive processes, attitudes, values and beliefs), cultural norms and
expectations of the leader. Many scholars attempt to depict successful and effective aspects within the models
(Leithwood, Harris and Hopkins, 2008). Leithwood, Harris and Hopkins (2008) classify main activities of the
educational leadership in three classes including:
- Setting Directions The major aspect of educational leadership is helping members of the group to develop a shared understanding
about the organization and its goals which promotes sense of purposefulness and having ideals for them.
Significance of setting necessary and consecutive directions by the leaders is often stressed in the goal-oriented
theories in the field of human motivation. According to these theories, individuals are stimulated for goals
which are compelling, challenging but achievable (Leithwood, Harris and Hopkins, 2008).
- Developing People Although clear and compelling organizational directions cause arousal of people for fulfillment, these directions
are not the sufficient condition for determining the duties and job description and eventually achieving
organizational goals. Nurturing the capabilities is the prerequisite of the staff productivity and motivation for
realization of the goals (Leithwood, Harris and Hopkins, 2008).
- Redesigning the Organization Successful educational managers continuously develop their school as an effective organization so that they
improve performance of the teachers, students, and managers. This group of activities of the educational leaders
was developed under influence of organizational learning and professional learning theory to help students'
learning and professional promotion of the teachers. This group of tasks fo...